When It Rains It Pours: Why Everything Seems To Go To Sh*t At Once

by Tiernan Hebron

"A steaming sh*t storm of awfulness" is the best way I can describe the feeling of having everything in your life go wrong all at once.

For those of you who have experienced this, you understand my analogy all too well. For those of you who haven't experienced a sh*t storm of awfulness raining down on your life, I look to one of my favorite movies, "Bruce Almighty" to help explain:

From the wise words of Bruce, it's like,

God is a mean kid sitting on an anthill with a magnifying glass, and I'm the ant. He could fix my life in five minutes if He wanted to, but he'd rather burn off my feelers and watch me squirm.

Ah, Bruce, the accuracy with which you describe my life is astounding.

You lose your job, you find your significant other boinking the neighbor, you have to move back in with your parents, it starts pouring on the day you decide to move all your stuff back into your parents' and basically, it couldn't get any worse.

And then, that one thing happens — that final straw that just pushes you over the edge of sanity. I've found that the most minuscule of things is what generally unleashes the full-blown, crazy-person breakdown.

You sit there jobless, heartbroken, in your parents' living room with soggy furniture, and then, you bang your elbow on the edge of the door, and it all goes white.

Suddenly, you're in the fetal position, ugly-crying on par with Kim Kardashian, screaming, "What did I do to deserve this? I'm a decent human being, it's not like I ever murdered anyone!" (This is an actual quote from yours truly.)

But, just like my good ole' pal Bruce realized by the end of the movie, it is ultimately up to us to change our happiness. Even if you think God or the universe is picking on you, it's never as bad as you likely think.

Now, believe me, I know its just a movie and the whole, "you need to stop feeling sorry for yourself and make your own happiness" thing is a cliché that just pisses you off more when you hear it. But, there's actually a science behind happiness.

When you are feeling bad, you tend to interpret circumstances or occurrences in a negative light, even if they are not negative or harmful. Because you feel like the world is out to get you, you subconsciously start looking or seeking out bad things to happen to you so you can confirm your fears that the world is out to get you.

According to positive psychologist, Nancy Etcoff, there is also an evolutionary reason behind why we search for negativity:

When we encounter something negative, we pay extraordinary attention to it. Think about hearing a description of a stranger: "Joe is happy, confident, and funny. But he's cheap." Negative information like this can forecast a problem: if Joe is cheap he may hoard, rather than share his resources with us. Our emotions are like a smoke detector: it's OK if they sometimes give a false signal. You don't die from a false positive. It's better to be too sensitive. We evolved in a world of much more immediate danger—germs, predators, crevasses.

So basically, our minds are working against us from a psychological and an evolutionary perspective. We seek out negativity to confirm that everything bad happens to us, and we seek out negativity to make sure nothing bad happens to us. Aren't our minds just totally screwed up? How do we win?

As much as you want to blame it on psychology or evolution, we still very much have the choice to have optimistic perspectives and seek out the positives.

When bad sh*t happens to you, be conscious of the fact that the world is not out to get you, and that sometimes, bad things just happen. Don't seek out more to end up in that steaming pile of you know what. Try to find the positives.

So, you lost your job. Go get a better one. Your significant other cheated on you — he or she is an asshole anyway, and you're better off without.

Instead of hearing all about someone's bad traits, simply acknowledge that he or she is human and has flaws, and then set it aside.

Happiness is an elusive little bastard; you need to work on it and be conscious about attaining it. But, it is possible. Don't give up on life in a fetal position, go get your revenge and have a happy life.